We decided a little while back that we were going to go to Disney World before the twins turned three because kids two and under get in free to the Disney parks. It started as Tristen just kind of musing about it, then looking into it and letting me know that there is plenty for small kids to do and that other twin moms have talked about it being a lot of fun.

I was also skeptical about going to a theme park during a pandemic, but we found from a little bit of research that no outbreaks had been traced to any Disney parks and, backing that up, I talked to a few people who had been who said they felt felt really safe and that Disney did a really good job.

In the end, what won me over was the idea that they might have some sort of nigh-vestigal memory of the trip and the fact that any time we went after this would be a LOT more expensive.

Milly isn’t able to go, and honestly I feel very guilty about that. I never want her to feel left out of the family, but between how difficult it was to get her to do her homework sometimes when we were in Cozumel last year (when we went because the twins flew for free) and middle school being tougher than elementary school, it just wasn’t able to happen. Milly was bummed about it, though I pointed out to her that with two nearly-three-year-olds and an almost-two-year-old, we would be focusing on a lot of little kid stuff. She said that the biggest thing for her was not being able to see her brothers’ reactions to being there, which I totally get. Of course, the issue became moot anyway, as a doctor has said she should stay off her feet as much as possible and it wouldn’t be very easy for her to get around a theme park with crutches.

I did go by and hang out with her for a good little bit yesterday. We got some ice cream from a sushi place that also has an ice cream bar near her mom’s house.

Prior to that on Friday I got the oil changed in the van. They checked the cabin filter and found that a nest had been built in it, probably by a squirrel. The lady who showed that to me said the fan would make some noise, even though she tried to suck out everything as best the could. Sure enough, any time I turned on the AC it made a noice, although it went away if you turned it up really high. I spent some time cleaning it out that night and felt pretty triumphant when I got it silent again. It wasn’t very easy to reach my hand up into it.

I picked Erin up at the end of my running around that morning. She and Daniel are staying at the house while we’re gone and part of me going ahead and picking her up was to bring over some bags of laundry and such. We also had a work meeting.

Tristen convinced her mom to come down with us just to help out a bit, although she’s not going to the parks with us. We booked two rooms through a timeshare she has. She was doing a polar plunge this morning and had asked me to film it and take some pictures on behalf of Summer Sands, so I headed over to Wrightsville Beach around 8:30 in the morning. Very cool side note: I didn’t have to stop for a single red light on the way there.

Tristen and I got everything packed up and Laura arrived. We were able to leave a bit before 11.

Overall the trip was pretty uneventful. Tristen gets motion sickness, so she drove the whole way. I let Laura sit up front. Griffin napped for an hour or so starting around 1:30 or 2. We stopped for gas twice; once in South Carolina and once in some sketchy part of Orlando, after which we stopped by a Walmart to pick up some food and such.

We also stopped for dinner at a Cracker Barrel in Georgia just a bit before the Florida border. It was Tutu’s birthday (Tristen’s grandmother) and the family usually has a dinner at one of her favorite restaurants back in Wilmington, but apparently she also really liked Cracker Barrel.

I was able to stream the Duke-Clemson game as well while in the van. Clemson had been ranked as high as 11th or so a few weeks ago, but they kind of went downhill. Duke has been struggling all season, but they came out strong with two really nice runs in the first half and ended up winning 79-53. They looked really good, and I hope it’s a sign of things to come.

Once we got to Orlando things got a little more complicated. Our directions went to a similarly-named resort, so we were redirected to the other one. We got there, but then were told we needed to check in at some other place. Laura went to go check in when we got there, but then was told they couldn’t find the reservation, although her name did turn up after she called the timeshare concierge. Apparently the guy she was talking to needed to refresh the list or something.

All of that was annoying, particularly because we kept having to make left on very busy roads without the benefit of a stoplight to help us out. It was annoying, but it all had an impact. If just one of those extraneous stops had been cut out, or if we hadn’t had to wait for so much traffic, what happened next very likely would not have happened, at least not as badly as it did.

We got to our place and we were going through the parking lot. We were about one building away when Fawkes made a choking sound. He was sitting directly behind me, and I spun around to check on him when a copious amount of vomit issued forth from his mouth.

Tristen had already pulled over because of the choking sound. She saw an undigested gummy work project from his mouth and reasoned, in that moment, that his inability to properly eat a gummy work had caused it. Really, it was the last thing he’d eaten, Nonnie having given one to each of the boys as we left Cracker Barrel a couple hours prior. My thinking was that it stemmed from sitting in the car for about nine hours.

Everything he ate that day came up, whatever the cause. It was all over him, the car seat, a bit on the floor, the back of my seat, his shoes… Tristen was over life right then and pulled into a random parking spot. Laura decided to go find exactly where our place was. I started cleaning Fawkes up with a blanket until Tristen came and got him. She took him out and cleaned him up with another blanket. He was sobbing, of course, as it couldn’t have felt good to throw up that. Much. Stuff.

Laura was back a minute later to tell us where to go. Tristen walked, carrying Fawkes, and I took the van the rest of the way. We got the kids inside and she put them them all in the bath, getting in with them. Laura and I unloaded the van.

The kids were down to sleep sometime around 10:00, which might be about the latest they’ve ever stayed up. Tristen took a shower and rinsed off some of the stuff that had larger chunks on it. I took out the car seat and dismantled that, taking a shower and rinsing that part out. Our place, fortunately, is a suite and included a washer and dryer, so we were able to wash everything. I was worried that my long-sleeved white Duke shirt, given to me for my birthday last year by Blake and Leslie and worn for the very first time that day, wouldn’t be able to get the stains out of the cuffs, but it came out fine.

And that was how we arrived in Orlando for the boys’ first trip to Disney World. Oh, it was also the first time they’ve been to any other states aside from a layover in Texas,